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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Olcott Memorial School

Beginning in 1894 the President-Founder of the Theosophical Society (TS) Henry Steel Olcott initiated a movement for the education of the underprivileged children in and around Chennai (Madras) in Southern India. A number of Panchama (Harijan) free schools were established employing qualified teachers who were theosophists and who rejected the prevailing system of caste and untouchability. After Olcott’s death in 1907 the principal Panchama school situated on the Adyar Estate was renamed the Olcott Memorial School in his honor. The school is entirely supported by donations from theosophists and others from India and other countries.

The O.M.S. currently educates about seven hundred and fifty boys and girls. A nutritious breakfast is provided to all students. A midday meal is supplied by the state government which is enriched by supplements provided by the Olcott Education Society. Stress is laid on academic and moral excellence and effort is made to avoid alienation of the students from their home environment.

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